Hi from the damplands of the U.K.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Dadonaskateboard, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Dadonaskateboard

    Dadonaskateboard
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    Barefooters

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    Damplands, well that's how it seems, but for anyone who is interested I am in a village called Oundle in Northamptonshire.

    My journey here is not uncommon. For many years now I've been in the community of Jan 1st runners. By February it's painful and by March it's off to the doctors with a knee or joint ailment.

    Well in 2015 after my most recent failure I read born to run. After my cartlidges appeared to be back in their natural position I started the transition to forefoot in june 2015. Throw away the stopwatch and go with slow and gentle. After 2 months I had worked up to 5k on the toe with 3 runs a week.

    I must have been a good boy as Father Xmas bought me some vibram KSO evo's. Wow. Ditching the asics was a revelation.

    After a month of vibram, the soles of my shoes started to delaminate so on the phone to those great people at feetus and primal lifestyle, and a replacement set was in the post..... But what to do for the 10 days when without ?

    I went back to the asics but it was awful .... My feet slapped the ground and my ankles ached... So I went naked !!!!! Other than a little road burn it was wow ....

    So, here I am now. Most of her time it's vibrams, and certainly for anything over 5k or when it's a bit damp/muddy (for the moment). But I'll make the transition over time as my feet strengthen in these KSO.

    I travel with work, and regularly get chucked out of hotel gyms for being barefoot .... But the Vibram rolls up tight and squeezes in an overnight bag.

    I've got to the forefoot point where the 'bounce' now comes from the calf muscle, and my times have come down. My 5k is sub 24min and 10k in 52 min ... In the vibrams....

    But I'm looking forward to some summer nights which are warm and I get get some proper barefoot in.

    But for me the most Important thing is that I have now run 3 times a week since August with no injury. Ok, sore calves and feet, but only good hurt from a bit of a beating which is what we were designed to do.... But no back or knee pain, not even a twinge ..... No physio and growing confidence and sense of achievement ....

    Furthermore I've converted several people along the way and added years to my life. My 2016 goal is to run a local cross country 10k in sub 50 and go on to a reasonable half marathon before my 50th next year. Over the summer I hope to go more barefoot..... But there's no rush as the KSO is pretty minimal and the impact on the shape and condition of my feet is a joy.

    Aside from the ridicule of my kids .... 'Dad is going for a 5k mince', 'where are the ballet shoes dad' and the predicatable 'my dad thinks he's a hobbit' all is good.

    So, many thanks to Scott. Born to run has quite literally changed my life and given me back the confidence many of us almost 50 dads lose too easily.
     
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  2. KTR

    KTR
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    Barefooters
    1. Spain - España

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    I was going to say 'Hi dad!' but it would sound weird, so I'll just say Welcome!
    That's a nice story. I hope you enjoy the place. You'll find it easy to feel identified with a miriad of thoughts and situations people post on these forums.
    Cheers!
     
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  3. skedaddle

    skedaddle
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    Welcome from another very soggy and damp Brit! I think i'm evolving webbed feet and gills ;)
     
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  4. Dadonaskateboard

    Dadonaskateboard
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    thanks. I read somewhere that the KSO in KSO Vibram stands for Keep Stuff Out. Clearly they weren't testing this in the rain when its only 2 degrees centigrade, on a british b road, with a gritter lorry bearing down on you.... they dont keep much out then .....
     
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  5. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ
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    Welcome, Dad! Be sure to join the UK Chapter through the Chapters link above. :barefoot:
     
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  6. Tedlet

    Tedlet
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    Welcome on board Dad...
    It sounds like your transition to BF is going really well. -Good back story & not unfamiliar if you read through other peoples journeys on the forums.
    The gym experience you describe is frustrating isn't it, though I do tend to find at mine they will turn a blind eye if you're on the treadmill and it's not too busy.
    Good luck with your goals for the year & keep the progression slow & steady.
    Enjoy...
     
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  7. Barefoot Ken Bob

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    Welcome, and congratulations on your new adventure.

    This may or may not apply to you, but it sounds like it could:

    Sore calves, contrary to popular misconception, are not the cost of transitioning to barefoot running style. They are the cost of not relaxing your calves (among other issues). From your story, it sounds like you're trying to stay up on the "toes" (hopefully you mean the balls of your feet) by tensing up your calves and pointing your toes toward the ground. That puts a great deal on the calves, but also the metatarsals in the feet - which is the reason many who make the transition, especially using minimalist footwear, unnecessarily suffer calf pain, shortly before suffering stress fractures of the foot.

    A proper forefoot-FIRST landing, comes from bending the knees and landing a bit "late" on relaxed feet and calves, rather than tensing up and trying to point the toes into the ground.

    One only needs to "work" to unlearn bad habits, after that, if running doesn't feel easy, then you're probably doing it in a way that will cause injuries down the line.

    more info:
    http://how.barefootrunning.com
     
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  8. Dadonaskateboard

    Dadonaskateboard
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    Bob, Many thanks.... thats a good tip and makes sense. The reason i keep tense and on the ball (quite correct) is because anywhere near a heal strike and my knees go...... its a learned reaction to pain !! ..... the upside of keeping tense is I now have calves like iron, and should start to experiment with a more relaxed style.

    Can i confirm what you mean though.... are you saying relax on the down strike..... which means the calf/foot will be relaxed on impact, then tense for the 'launch' ? .....

    to be quite honest, i think i am moving towards this movement as i'm training my right leg to stop over pronating (thats the worst knee) and landing more squarely.

    i'm sure i'll get there without any stress fractures, but only through trial and error..... and wandering through the helpful posts on this site :)
     
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  9. Barefoot Ken Bob

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    There should be NO IMPACT on landing. Which may be why your knees complain when the heel "strikes" ... There should also be no "strike" of the foot on the earth. After all, the earth is our friend, and there is no good reason to strike her when we run.

    Start at about 58 seconds (ignore the "strike" in the narrator's description):

    Haile's foot-landing is nearly identical to what I teach and do:


    Of course, Haile Gebrselassie has a much longer stride than I have, because he is moving a greater distance with each stride (or actually, than the treadmill is moving underneath me). Do not TRY to run with a longer stride! Keep your cadence up. Lift your feet quickly. Do NOT push your feet down (let gravity do that work). Stride length comes from our body moving forward more quickly, not from pushing harder...

    Also note on the chart, the gentle loading - NO IMPACT SPIKE!

    Anyway to your question, Yes and NO!

    Relax on the landing.

    But do NOT tense up on the "launch". There is very little need to "launch" your body up. It's so much easier to lift the foot with our massive (relatively) bodies, than to launch our massive (relatively) body with our tiny (relatively) feet.

    Focus, instead on moving your body forward, and letting your feet move quickly to keep up. The remainder of running technique that people try to teach (including me) should be a result of simply moving the body forward. Moving the body forward (but maintain vertical posture) is, after all, the goal of running and walking.

    Relax, relax, RELAX!!! (a mantra that has got me and my bare feet through tens of thousands of miles, including over 400 races, including 79 barefoot marathons, including 1 barefoot ultra marathon ... and the last 6-8 painful miles of walking during my first marathon, and the only marathon I completed WITH footwear (blisters don't like it when the feet move around inside the shoes; carefully setting my foot down and gently lifting it was the only way to not cause excess pain with each and every step. Though in retrospect, I could have taken the shoes off - blister were all on the tops of my feet, not the bottom).

    Also read: Barefoot Running Step by Step. I hear it has help numerous people transition to barefoot running.

    P.S. a limp isn't a limp, if you do it on both sides equally. So you can play around with "limping" (taking your weight off your feet as they land on the ground). That should also take the strain off the knees - especially if the knees are bending.

    Remember, tension causes pain, and pain is a reminder that we're putting too much stress on our body. Too mush stress can lead to injury.
     
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  10. Phil Hart

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    Welcome, Dad!
     
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  11. Barefoot Dama

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    Welcome Dad(I feel weird calling an extranger dad).
    Great advice from Ken but don't over think it and get confused and start overanalyzing everything.
    Just Relax, relax, relax(in case no one has mentioned it).
     

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  12. DNEchris

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    Hi DoaS. Welcome to the crew from a Brit in the US - I've just moved to the Pacific Northwest and the weather here certainly reminds me of the UK.

    I can only re-iterate what others have said - take it easy and stop "trying" (Yoda wasn't always right ;))

    I hope your time in Oundle is more enjoyable than the miserable 4 years I spent a few miles to your Northwest a long time ago.
     
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  13. Dadonaskateboard

    Dadonaskateboard
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    Ken Bob,

    Again, your counsel is much appreciated. Now i am on my feet, without shoes, I have noticed how i over-pronate on my right foot ..... i think thats what you call it when you land on the outside ?

    I have tried to run more like my left foot, and more like your helpful video .... but wonder if it is more complex than this. The reason is, it feels like i have a permanent bruise under my second toe joint.... in fact, it almost feels like it is swollen and a i am aware of the joint even when wearing normal shoes. I've kept off it for 4 days now, its annoying rather than painful, and if i do go for a run the discomfort vanishes after the first mile.

    Does this sound familiar ? I am trying to move my landing weight to my 'big toe' side, but since I appear to have the long term habit of landing on the outside of my foot its a tough transition to make..... i'm walking around the office in a suit/tie/socks without shoes and twisting my right knee to try and learn to walk more on the big toe, it looks a little strange, and comical !

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply.
     
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  14. KTR

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    Absolutely! You are describing word by word what I started feeing after two months of barefoot running. Actually, also my left foot tends to over pronate (which I had noticed last summer during my first barefoot trials.) Now, some 2-3 weeks past, the swollen joint is less noticeable and less annoying, specially after applying Ken's advice.

    I definitely am not a great expert, but the way I see it you should focus in running in a way that is comfortable to you. Displacing the load behind the big toe should be the ideal way to run, but I consider it as a guideline that can't be applied to every kind of foot —and there are twice as many kinds of feet as there's people.

    With relaxing my muscles in mind and applying a bit more of flexion to my knees, I notice that I tend to displace the weight to the outer edge of my feet (as you say you usually do) and I feel more comfortable and the second toe joint does not complaint so much the days after a run. I know this may have other side-effects, like an extra load in my shins, but it's less annoying than that swollen feeling under my feet.

    Again, I'm aware this is not a canonical way to run barefoot, but it works for me better than trying to displace the load behind my big toe.

    Cheers!
     
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